To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
I started teaching Spin part time at all the local gyms after my instructor suggested one day that it would be something I’d be good at. I realized almost instantly that this was my calling, my passion. Tired of large franchise gyms treating customers like nothing but a dollar sign, I decided I wanted to open my own studio and devote myself full time to it. I quit my day job in IT and set off to open a space where everyone would feel welcome and comfortable and it would be more of a community than a sweat factory. Dare I say I wanted a place where people would be excited to come workout? In the end, what I really wanted was to use the one hour I have a day with people to inspire them, entertain them, coach them and make them forget the outside world and all it’s inherent problems and challenges while at the same time improving and sometimes even saving their lives. CycleLuv opened its doors December 2012 and it has been even better than I dreamed. For one hour a day we are a family and we have a ton of fun and we laugh until tears stream down our faces but we still get an amazing workout and see real results. That’s why my 1200 sq ft studio is so magical. Because of the customers who become family from their first day.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would affirm that what we do matters and that people understand the value of what we bring to the community. It would help get our name out there and possibly encourage someone who is currently having trepidation to just try it one time and see if it’s for them. It would be an enormous honor to hold the title of Innovative Small Business of the Year when we are such a small place, owned by a single person, and without the kind of money and means our competitors have. I truly would be extremely proud to have been recognized by such a distinguished organization as the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. We’ve won a lot of awards over the past 4 years but this one would really mean the most to me. We’re up against some AMAZING small businesses. It’s intimidating 🙂
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
I would be back working in the IT field full time and teaching Spin part time
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
I was just given a book called “You are a Badass.” How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life” as a gift so am currently reading that. My favorite book is probably “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Go for a bike ride on the C&O canal, eat lunch outside at Harper’s Ferry, then have a bonfire and s’mores and wine with good friends.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
It’s the smallest because it’s the easiest but its also the biggest- kindness. Just treating people with an open heart and respect and compassion has made us more than just a “gym” but rather a family that works out together. My customers feel the are truly appreciated and cared for and they pay it forward with the greatest word of mouth advertising I could have ever dreamed of. I owe everything to my customers. I’m terrible at marketing 🙂
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I wanted to design cars in the automotive industry. A childhood dream was to be a singer or dancer because I absolutely love music and the way it makes me feel.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
I’d have to say my mother has influenced me the most because she was always such a brave and kind and hysterically funny person and I aspired to be like her when I grew up. She has never doubted my abilities and has always believed I could do anything even when I didn’t. She even believed in my dream of opening a place where people pay to ride a bike that goes nowhere. Need I say more? She’s really so damn cool. I hope you all have the privilege to meet her some day.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
I love the people in our community and my fellow small business owners who are so supportive and encouraging. I never dreamed I could open my own business and it’s been the most amazing and fulfilling experience and I don’t believe I could have had the success I’ve had in any other place.
Thanks, Iris Kotmel, of CycleLuv, and congratulations on your nomination!
Click here to see all of the “Meet the Finalists” posts.
The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Her